In my last post, I began my exploration of the teas and tisanes I received from Bird’s Eye Tea. In this post, I conclude that exploration, beginning with my revised instructions for making Xocolatl. You may recall that the first time I made Xocolatl, I ignored my intuition and added the recommended ¾ cup of milk to the mixture. What I found, not surprisingly, was that the excess milk diluted the mixture too much, creating a bland brew that did not do justice to Xocolatl’s saucy ingredients. This time out, I reduced the amount of milk I added to just ¼ cup, keeping everything else the same. The result was a tisane that highlighted the chocolate and cinnamon to a much greater extent and made for a much more enjoyable cup. I would venture to say that a bit more of the dry tisane and just a splash of milk would make an enjoyable cup just perfect. Thankfully, I have enough for another go-around.
After experimenting with the Xocolatl, it was time to move on to the second tisane that had caught my eye – Honeybush Spice, another of the spicy, chai-like blends I had received. The cornerstone of this tisane is honeybush, which hails from South Africa, just as rooibos does. Not surprisingly, the two tisanes share a number of similarities. Once again, this being my first time out with this tisane, I followed the instructions on the package. However, I did make one small adjustment. Rather than steeping two teaspoons of the tisane in 1.5 cups of water, I opted for just one cup of water, letting the infusion sit for 6 minutes.
As you can see from the photo below, Honeybush Spice sparkles with its honeybush foundation, to which cinnamon, star anise, ginger, cardamom, orange zest, and licorice have been added. This delightful mixture yields a very clean, smooth brew reminiscent of a mulled cider. Although the instructions don’t mention it, a teaspoon or two of your favorite honey makes Honeybush Spike all the more delicious. Just what I love to drink on those chilly autumn evenings in Southern California. Yes, we do have chilly autumn evenings!